Last updated: 20-Dec-18
Brooks once saved my life, or at least my feet. I was doing a world first trek from the Atlas to the Atlantic in 2015 and as it was hiking with tent, supplies etc was wearing my much-loved Scarpa boots.
I hadn’t bargained for the extra pressure of a 25kg pack, 20-hour days and the heat of a Moroccan summer, even at high altitude.
My feet swelled so much that by day 3 I couldn’t even get my boots on and finished the day in flip flops – believe me not ideal in rough mountain conditions.
Fortunately, my expedition partner, Rachid Aitelmahjoub, had an ancient pair of Brooks with massive holes in them and worn tread as his back up shoe. I put them on and never looked back.
So, fast forward three years and I am back in the Atlas training for the Everest Trail Race and keen to try out a rather newer model, the Brooks Cascadia 13 trail running shoe.
- Neutral support
- 10mm midsole drop
- Medium high arch
- DNA Midsole
- 3D Rubber Print Mud Guard to protect against trail debris
- Integrated gaiter connection point
- Internal saddle system for a close-to-foot fit
- Ariaprene tongue for comfort and breathability
- Weight: 300g
- RRP: £110
PROS: What’s good about the Brooks Cascadia 13 trail running shoe
Straight out of the box, the shoes fit nicely, firm across the mid foot but with room in the toe box for a bit of swell. The heel is snug at the back and I like the big pull on loop.
The lacing system is traditional and I thought that might mean me having to lace up tighter a few hours in but it didn’t, the laces stayed true.
They are very much a neutral support shoe which I like and I had a good connection with the ground and could feel what was going on underfoot but with enough cushioning to have a high level of comfort.
The mud guard did its job and protected against trail debris and the uppers allowed air in and through to keep the foot reasonably cool.
CONS: What’s not so good about the Brooks Cascadia 13 trail running shoe
I found that the shoe slipped a bit on the hard-packed trails lightly overlaid with pebbles that characterise a lot of the terrain in the Atlas Mountains where I was wearing them.
The lugs succumbed to the sharp rocks and stones of the trails and took on some damage after the longer runs.
The Brooks Cascadia 13 trail shoe is really, really comfortable. That is its biggest plus. For that reason, I decided to wear them for ETR and I didn’t regret that decision.
My feet were in really good shape during the race and the level of comfort I got from them helped me recover quickly even after long days.
If you want solid and reliable over very long days then these are the shoes for you, but if you are a racing snake, you might want to go for something with more aggressive lugs and grip.
Other shoes you may want to try:
Dynafit Ultra Pro
Scarpa Neutron 2
Have you tried the Brooks Cascadia 13 trail running shoes? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.
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All images Alice Morrison except where stated.